Today’s NFL divisional playoff game for the AFC pits two archrivals against each other that have never faced the other in the post season. While the player’s will determine the ultimate outcome, it is the wind in Denver that could prove to be a major factor.
January in the Mile High City can bring extreme cold and snow but it is a more common weather condition that will be dominant today: wind.
Temperatures downtown will be unseasonably warm today with highs topping out in the mid to upper 40s. Partly sunny skies are expected throughout the day.
Winds will be increasing in speed this morning and peaking not long before kickoff at 2:40 p.m. At the start temperatures will be around 47 degrees. Winds will be out of the west northwest at 30 mph with gusts to 45 mph.
As the game progresses, temperatures will be dropping and while winds will be easing a bit, they still will be quite strong.
By halftime the mercury will be reading around 40 degrees. Winds will still be around 25 mph with gusts to 35 mph. At 6:00 p.m. when the game should be wrapping up, the temperature will be down to 35 degrees with the winds continuing to gust to 30 mph.
Clearly the teams are going to have to factor the wind into their game plans.
Aerial attacks by Peyton Manning and Phillip Rivers may be limited. Long throws will certainly be more difficult with the wind pushing the ball around.
The wind may also limit the kicking game and that may prove to be a big factor if the game is close. It would appear unlikely that Broncos kicker Matt Prater will be trying very many long kicks with that famously powerful leg of his.
Given the wind, the game may very well be lower scoring than what Denver Broncos fans are used to seeing.
Denver Weather Examiner game prediction: Denver Broncos 27, San Diego Chargers 24